A shambling wreck of a man who used to be one of the most charismatic people in America took to a stage in New Hampshire recently, clad in his best imitation of lumberjack chic (if the lumberjack in question had been paid hundreds of millions of dollars to give speeches to fabulously wealthy people, that is). During the course of his doddering remarks, he unleashed a barrage of attacks on Bernie Sanders and his supporters:
I’m gonna pass over the easy shot here, which is that an accused serial rapist and admitted sexual harasser should maybe not be in the business of calling literally anyone sexist, and get to the remarks in the speech itself.
What’s notable about this is that Clinton doesn’t just call Sanders sexist, he calls Sanders’s supporters sexist. Which is maybe not a good way to talk about the supporters of your primary opponent – supporters you will definitely need in the general election since Clinton is running behind everyone not named Donald Trump and the campaign hasn’t even started yet.
But perhaps even more importantly, the Clinton campaign had hoped that Bill Clinton could be useful to Hillary on the stump and try to make up for some of her lack of charisma. It’s increasingly clear, as you watch him on the trail, that he’s simply not capable of doing that anymore. Used to be, Clinton’s considerable personal baggage was something you accepted as part of the cost for having his even more considerable personal appeal on the stage with you.
Now, you almost feel sad for Bill Clinton, still trying to be Bill Clinton and failing. It’s kind of like watching Derek Jeter in his last two season – he still thought he was Jeter, and he still kind of looked like Jeter, but he was really just a shell of the guy he once was, and he was hurting his team because no one had the heart to go out there and tell him he didn’t have it anymore. If this is the best play that Team Clinton has, the Democrats might want to hope that Bernie wins the nomination after all.